Showing posts with label the dot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the dot. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 18

Not even gonna lie to you: no matter how "prepared" I am, I spend most of my plan time running around like a crazy person prepping supplies, setting up the room, getting videos cued up or visuals displayed. I call it the Art Teacherin' Hustle. And most of the time, my hustle is spent SEARCHING for stuff. From my luke warm coffee to my half eaten Lara bar to the Sharpie markers or the funky monkey scissors, the hustle is strong with this one, y'all. But NOT for grade level examples and visuals. Nope. I always know where that stuff is, thanks to today's Art Teacherin' 101 tip:
How's that for easy? I'm a firm believer in Keep It Simple, Stupid cuz I'm pretty heavy on the stupid. But, you gotta admit, keeping up with all of this art biz is tough! I'm currently digging myself out of all things Dot Day and putting them up on the walls...(or, in the case of the very first photo, putting them around necks. My students also made Dot Day shrink plastic necklaces!)
 In case you missed these snaps over on my Instagram, here is just a sprinkling of all the projects (and project examples) that I attempt to keep up with using my lil system. By the way, you can find this lesson with video here
I've always wanted to do this extension project with printing plates. More on this process later this week. I love when a project lends it self to more fun lessons!
 By the way, my second graders framed out their texture relief pieces with some painted cardboard pizza rounds. I did notice that their texture pieces were looking a little lackluster. So I had them brush a thin coat of ModPodge over them and I'm super happy with how much they pop now.
And this third grade lesson can be found here

I swear one of these days I'm gonna get FUR REALZ organized...but until then, I'll keep offering y'all my super simple tips. Have a great week, kids!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In the Art Room: Texture Relief with Second Grade

Well, now that our Monochromatic Selifes are finished and we are impatiently waiting for that art teacher to hang them up (can I contract out for that? I'm buried under cute and colorful self-portraits!), it's time for us all to move on to our next masterpiece: Texture Relief Dots for Dot Day! 
 Each of my grade levels, kindergarten thru fourth grade, we are creating a dot-based work of art inspired by Peter H. Reynold's The Dot. We're doing all new Dot Day projects this year...if you like to check out all the Dot projects we've done over the years, check here.
This year, for second grade, I decided to give one of my most popular blog posts a reboot and focus on texture.
Filming my lessons over the weekend means I have a shorter weekend...but a much smoother week. I am loving this new method. I actually feel like the kids are learning so much more as I don't forget valuable vocabulary and information. I just hope I have the stamina to keep it up! I also enjoy sharing them with you. Please feel free to use in your art rooms.
 For this project, we used the following:

* 8" Cardboard Circles purchased from Amazon
* 3M Spray Adhesive
* $1 a can matte spray paint from Home Depot. Be sure and get the cheap stuff, it rubs off the best.
* The finest of steel wool, 000 
* Textured items like leaves, burlap, twine, lace, etc.
* Aluminum foil. I found boxes of sheets of foil that worked really well because it was the perfect size. It is then and may tear so tell the kids to be careful.
Before the kids arrived, I sprayed each of their circles with the adhesive. This way, they were ready to start applying their textured items. When finished, they brought them to me. I sprayed again, added the foil and sent them to their seat to rub the foil and reveal the texture.
Once it was rubbed, the kids trimmed off the excess and folded it underneath. That took up all of our 30 minutes of art class.
 I took all of the circles outside today and spray painted them black. 
The kids watched the bit of video about burnishing. We definitely did have some small holes and tears happen. A thicker foil might have helped but it would have given us a less detailed texture design. 
 I mean...
 How cool is that? After the burnishing was complete and our hands were washed, we chatted some more about texture and the difference between real and implied. This was such a fun and quick lesson that gave us beautiful results.
I really like how they look on their messy mats, we just might have to frame them out that way!
I'm interested to know what other textures y'all might recommend we use in the future. I'd love to add more to this fun project!

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

In the Art Room: Reversible Dot Paintings

Okay, I know what you're thinking: Holy crap, Stephens, Dot Day ended, like, a month ago! 

Y'all. I know. But I never did tell ya the whys and hows and who's-its of these here Reversible Dot Paintings. So don't gimme none of that "holy crap" biznatch, ya hear?
Way back when I started dreaming up ideas for Dot Day, I knew I wanted to use some cardboard pizza rounds. I dunno why. You know how it is when you get an idea stuck in your head for no reasonable reason and you just can't get rid of it. Kinda like herpes. Well that was me with this cardboard pizza round thing. So I ordered a hundred of 'em from School Specialty and got the notion that we'd make some reversible abstract paintings out of 'em. 
What gave me that thought was the movie Six Degrees of Separation (if you've heard me tell this tale before, sorry for the repeat. I'm a repeat-asaurus, it's what I do). I knew I wanted the kids to learn about Kandinsky because he's got a big fat showing at our local art museum. And then I recalled this movie clip and was all: YES! REVERSIBLE KANDINSKY PAINTINGS. I'M. A. GENIUS.

That is until I found out that Kandinsky never actually did paint any reversible painting. Which could only lead me to one conclusion: The Prince of Bel Air is a LIAR (okay, so it was Donald Sutherland in the clip, whateves).
I still thought the idea was a good one and a fun way to start the school year so I went with it any ole way. Whatcha see above is one child's reversible painting. I love how different one side is from the other. Lemme tell you how we did it. It all started on the first day of school...
Yeah, I know. You've prolly seen this thing too. Told ya I'm a repeat-asaurus. Just ask my students. 


On our first days of art class, after our chats about Kandinsky and his painting to music, we tackled our own abstract paintings. We listened to music and musical instruments to inspire a variety of lines. Our first Word of the Week was "artist" which we all decided we most definitely are.
The following classes were spent painting and our word of the week was "unique". I really wanted to emphasize that our paintings are all going to be different, no one better than the other. We also talked about how color could evoke mood and that was the focus behind our color choices. This wasn't a color mixing lesson, per se (gah, I've always wanted to say "per se" on this blog. Today's my lucky day, I dare per se!). If the kids created new colors, HURRAY!, we celebrated that. But our focus was on using colors to show emotion.

And by the looks of things we were all pretty happy. By the way, the paint we were using was whatever-was-left-over-from-last-school-year. My art supply order hadn't arrived yet (because, um, I forgot to place it. Der.) so we may have been scraping the bottom of some bottles. I do have to tell you that upon YOUR recommendations, I ordered VersaTemp from Sax and, y'all. I LOVE IT. Best paint I've used with the kids yet. I can't wait for you to see their new paintings! But, um, back to this.
I think a kid's personality really shines in an abstract painting. This dude is very meticulous, organized and precise. 
And this little girl is very free and comfortable with her sense of expression. She's already decided she's an artist now and when she grows up (gotta love that!).
I see a landscape painter every time I look at this painting.
Because I thought the boards should be the opposite on the back, I did go ahead and paint them all black. Which really didn't take as long as it sounds...but I didn't want the kids to use one of their precious art classes painting something black. We looked at a couple of Kandinsky's circle paintings and I gave the kids a "creative challenge" ("creative" being our Word of the Week): Create a painting using only circles. 
Because the surface was black, the kids did have to paint the circles white first and then add color. Which was great because then we could learn all about tints and value.
I see a budding Edvard Munch, don't you?
So clever, I love it!
The week of Dot Day, our word was "inspire". This was because our beautiful reversible paintings were to inspire the school just as Peter H. Reynolds had inspired our dot theme. To hang, I simply punched a super small hole in the top and bottom of each painting and paper clipped them together. 
And the serve as this super colorful reminder of the unique and creative artists that made them. They're so happy, I think I'll leave 'em up for a while. 

By the way, I now have a thing for cardboard pizza rounds. I gotta know, what have y'all ever used 'em for? 

Until next time!
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

In the Art Room: A Dotted Relief Sculpture

You know those flakey art teacher types that, although they've taught art for something close to 100 years, they still neglect to order art supplies until well into the school year? 

"Good heavens, no!", you say, "I don't know nor would I ever associate with any of those types of art teachers."

Oh, but you do. Hello, my name is Cassie and I am Queen of the Flakey Art Teachers. Seriously. And I've got a glitter-encrusted crayon-crown to prove it (if I could only find the blasted thing).
Why make this announcement in this here Dotted Relief Sculpture post? Because this project was born outta an empty art supply cupboard. In fact, I've rewritten a (disturbingly morbid, go here and read and tell me I'm lyin') children's poem just for the occasion. I've titled it Old Mutha Stephens:

Old Mutha Stephens
Opened her cupboard to be retrievin's
Some paint, colored pencils and glue.
But when she came there
Her cupboard was bare!
And so her students used foil and plates and didn't have a clue
That their art teacher was a Big Crazy Unorganized Flake.

(Okay, so that last bit is a work in profess, you'll have to forgive me).
What's that? You too strive to be just as flakey as me and wish to dupe your student into thinking you just dreamed up the most awesome project on the planet? Oh, well then. You came to the right place. Get yourself to the nearest grocery store and grab the following:


* Super cheapo styrofoam plates. You want the cheap ones because they cut much easier. Each kid will need two so go for the largest supply.

* Spray Glue. I like 3M because it doesn't suck. 

* Cheapo aluminum foil. The thin stuff works great.

* Sharpies in a lotta colors. 

* Glue. You know, like, Elmers or something.


After reading The Dot, the kids traced a circle that was the size of the center of their styro plates. After cutting out two circles, they used one as the base for their relief sculpture. The other circle was used to trace bottle caps and cut out smaller circles. These were glued to the larger circle. After they had a minimum of three smaller circles with a maximum of two stacked on top, they visited me at a separate table where I hit their work with a shot of spray glue and slapped a piece of foil on top. They returned to their seats to "massage" the foil and reveal the circles underneath. The extra foil was cut away from the circle and tucked underneath. Then the fun of coloring designs in sharpies began...


I gave the kids a zen-tangle-meets-circles idea sheet to get the ball, er dot, rolling. I'm a big believer in what we call "idea sheets" as I'm one of those artists that always needs ideas and never just has 'em pop into my lil head. For my wee artists that are the same, I provide idea sheets. The kids know that they are just ideas and they don't have to use them if they don't need 'em.
After the first hour of work, their dots looked a lil like this. I loved 'em so but I just couldn't imagine them being hung like this. So the kids began working on dotted frames to mount them.
Which were stamped with round stamps in white. The kids added color to the white dots with either paint or makers. Once those dried, they embellished their frames with Magical Metallic Markers (which are only "magical" because I told the kids I'd bought 'em just for them and that their nemesis, the fourth graders, had not used 'em yet. This got a lotta yesssss!es from the third grade crowd.)
To mount 'em, the kids chose a colorful piece of paper that they thought enhanced their design. A larger circle was traced and their metal dot was glued atop.
And that was then glued to their super groovy dot-erific frame.
The kids all loved how Peter H. Reynolds signed his name with his middle initial and several of 'em followed suit.
I'd say there's no dot, er doubt about it, these bad boys are dot-alicious (okay, okay, I'll stop. But I'm at the end of my post, just trying to bring it all together for ya!).
Funny story: just this afternoon, my personal hero, our school bookkeeper, announced over my phone, "Mrs. Stephens! It's Christmas in the office, your supply order came in!" and wouldn't you know it, the kids cheered HURRAY! 

Looks like Mutha Stephens just hit the art teacherin' mutha load. Empty cupboards no more, yippie!

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